Game Play On Mobile Devices Enjoys Upswing

The huge popularity of games like Candy Crush and Angry Birds has put the spotlight on mobile devices as gaming platforms in recent years. It’s not surprising, then, that the share of weekly time spent gaming on smartphones and tablets last year increased to 19% from 11% in 2011, according to Nielsen data.
Given the publicity generated around mobile game apps, one might assume that proportion might be even higher by now. But people overall still spend the vast majority of their time playing games online and on consoles. About a third each is spent online, and 38% on the seventh- and eighth-generation of video game consoles including PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Wii U. Smartphones garnered 10% of game time, and tablets, 9%.
The balance of time was divided among dedicated handheld game devices and “other” platforms. The newer console systems have helped maintain console gaming’s overall share of leisure time.
“With these 8th generation consoles still in their infancy, in addition to up-and-coming platforms, such as microconsoles and cloud gaming gaining momentum, gaming time is poised to continue evolving moving forward,” wrote Nicole Pike, director at Nielsen, in a blog post.
Console gamers, however, are also diversifying the devices they plan on. Half say they also play games on a mobile phone or tablet, up from 35% in 2011.

But Nielsen says the gradual trend toward playing games on more than one device suggests new platforms aren’t cannibalizing game time but increasing it. Overall, game players 13 and over spend more than six hours a week on any gaming platform, up 12% from 5.6 hours in 2012.
The Nielsen findings were based on a survey of a representative sample of more than 2,000 U.S. consumers (including gamers across devices) conducted in the fourth quarter of 2013 and the first quarter of 2014.
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